From your favorite coffee shop to the hair product you can't live without, it's likely you have a specific brand in mind when you're looking to make a purchase. In fact, 82% of consumers are loyal to specific brands. But what exactly makes a person loyal to a brand? And how do you build brand loyalty when introducing a product they've never tried before or when they're ready to shake things up?

Leading rewards shopping app Ibotta has learned the ins and outs here while scaling their business over the past few years; their biggest takeaway? A good experience with a new brand or platform means consumers will be more likely to return, and to make repeat purchases.

Today, rewards businesses like Ibotta bridge the gap between user discovery and brands looking to acquire new users by offering incentives and cashback as a reward for completing purchases. For the credit card industry, cards offering cashback have increased by a third since the end of 2013, making cashback the fastest growing card offering. The incentive is working across all industries, especially on desktop and for in-store purchases— but until recently, rewards for mobile purchases were uncharted territory. Nearly two years ago, Button and Ibotta teamed up to take a closer look at the needs in mobile and pave the path forward.

The Challenges of Mobile Rewards: Missed Orders & An Opportunity to Improve Customer Experience

For the rewards industry, giving users the ability to connect with their favorite merchants on mobile was‚Ää—‚Äätechnologically— impractical. The infrastructure of mobile was built differently than desktop, and the differences between mobile web, apps, and various devices demanded a new solution for building these partnerships, optimizing them for users, and providing reliable affiliation (or tracking) and reporting. The Button and Ibotta partnership has come a long way in solving for these previous pain points, growing mobile commerce offers to over 115 brands (many from the IR 100) in the past year alone and finding great success in the app-to-app marketplace.

After 2 years of powering and optimizing mobile rewards together, Ibotta discovered a key opportunity in the user experience and immediately provided this feedback to Button— consumers find cashback rewards challenging to understand. Ibotta attributed this to a lack of communication with the user, a result of limited signals and intelligence.

All of the user experience issues Ibotta identified could be addressed by improved communication— if the user did not receive a signal confirming purchase and subsequent reward, they could be left confused or unsure they would be awarded their cashback, they could submit a customer complaint, and in some cases this could result in them leaving the merchant, or Ibotta, for good.

At Button, we take partner feedback seriously and working closely with Ibotta, we addressed these areas for optimization and kicked off a product opportunity project. After ample research and various iterations, we've worked hard to solve for these communication challenges and enhance the user experience to drive top performance for the Button Marketplace.

Giving Your Customers the Confidence to Convert

We're proud to introduce the first complete mobile solution for loyalty and rewards businesses: Button for Rewards. This technology empowers a unique, positive user experience allowing Publishers to drive higher engagement and improve user retention. As Ibotta revealed, it's critical to have a presence throughout the entire mobile shopping journey and communicate that certain items qualify for a reward while users are browsing, and then ensure that purchases are tracked after checkout.

"Button has been a uniquely valuable strategic partner to Ibotta over the past two years. From helping us solve a key pain point in mobile affiliate to co-piloting industry-changing innovations, Button has made Ibotta stronger by enabling us to better serve our customers and clients. We are thrilled to bring the Predictable Rewards tool to market with Button as it is a great leap forward in strengthening the connection between retailers and their shoppers."

— Chris Jensen, VP of Retail Partnerships, Ibotta

With Button for Rewards, Publishers are able to eliminate user confusion and take control of the mobile shopping experience. Early tests have shown that users who are sent a reward confirmation message while they're browsing are more likely to complete a purchase.

How does it work? Button for Rewards is complete with two features; Instant Rewards, which send immediate alerts each time Publishers drive a customer to complete a purchase, and Predictable Rewards, which send intelligent signals about which products qualify for cashback while a user is browsing.

From a better user experience, increased conversion rates, higher retention, and greater revenue, the possibilities are endless with Button for Rewards. For more information about our new toolkit for mobile rewards, check out our website.